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GIVING CHILDREN A HEARTFELT CONNECTION TO NATURE
SHOULD BE SEEN AS ONE OF THE GREATEST GIFTS WE CAN GIVE OUR CHILDREN AND THE WORLD.
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WILD CAMP (School Holidays)
  • Ages 5-12
  • 6hrs
  • Gleniffer
BUSH KINDY
  • Ages 4-8
  • 5hrs
  • Valla Rural
NATURE PLAYGROUPS
  • Ages 0-6
  • 2.5hrs
  • Tuckers Rock 5 spaces left
NETWORK MEETINGS
  • Educators and Nature play enthusiasts
  • 1hr
  • Toormina Community Centre
Nature Play Academy operates outdoor recreational programs designed to connect children with nature. Our facilitated nature play experiences guide children, families and educators through beautiful locations, use of bushcraft tools and creative nature activities..
Why is Nature Play so important?
Children in the early childhood years of life are in a ‘critical period’ for brain development. The connections they use, skills they learn and knowledge they acquire forms the foundation for their future. If children fail to develop a connection with nature in early childhood it is unlikely they will engage in the kind of pro-environmental behaviour our planet needs in the future.

Research shows that today's children are disconnecting further from nature then ever before! We need to act now and provide children with authentic experiences in nature, experiences that delight their senses, develop their resilience and form the heartfelt connection required for environmental stewardship.

This means more than simply just 'exposing' children to nature by visiting local parks, beaches and bushland. The nature experiences need to be skilfully facilitated to include positive, empathetic elements such as - storytelling, creative play and philosophy.

Erin Chapman
Founder - Lead Facilitator - Blogger
Erin is a mother of three, a teacher, an advocate for children and a passionate nature playworker! Her knowledge on child development, play, curriculum design and nature connection clearly inspires her practice and is visible in all that she does!

Erin's magical ability to relate to children, passion for research and extensive experience in the field of early childhood has greatly influenced the design of our nature sessions.

During her seven years as an Early Childhood Teacher Erin has undertaken many bush adventures with children. She has acquired knowledge through working in the field with environmental and early childhood professionals.

Over the course of 2016 Erin set out to a local wild space with the same group of children every week and was amazed at the transformation in the children. They showed improvement in both individual and group moral, curiosity, confidence and pro-environmental behaviour.

Nature Play Academy was born to share this vital experience to as many children as possible, as often as possible. Our service is principally conducted to provide instruction in nature connection.
"Nature is not a place to visit. It is home"
- Gary Snyder
Acknowledgement: Nature Play Academy acknowledges that we meet play and learn on Gumbayniggirr Country. We acknowledge the Gumbayniggirr Nation as the First Peoples of this land.  We thank them for caring for the land and the waterways and value the sharing of their knowledge and stories. We pay respects to their Elders: past and present.